After an eight-year hiatus from music-making, Bad Veins is back in the indie pop-rock circuit.
The band is no stranger to taking their time to craft their distinctive sound, having released their first two albums six years apart: Bad Veins in 2009 and The Mess Remade in 2015. A fleshed-out creative process and attention to detail on sound quality are signifiers of the band’s style, with frontman Ben Davis at the helm.
The band’s style has always been resonating, noted by their affinity for 1980’s synths and experimental pop. Their newest single, “Wendy,” is all that and more, put together with seamless production and a music video shot camcorder-style.
This single is the lead up to the band’s new full-length album, Imposter, due to release December 1st. This project will continue to expand the band’s breadth of artistic ability, deemed as a “reflection of songwriter Ben Davis’s oscillation between the solitary world of his attic and the vast expanse of the music landscape.”
We got to chat with Davis to dive deeper into his return to music-making, the new video and single, upcoming album, and more.
So how does it feel to be putting out new music again after an 8-year hiatus?
I’m relieved to finally share what I’ve been working on through a very strange time. The COVID era has come (and hopefully gone), and coming out the other side of it and reconnecting with fans has been like a breath of fresh air. Literally.
How might your/the band’s creative process and songwriting/sound evolved since the last release?
I’m trying not to overthink the creative process. I’m not convinced that working harder at writing makes the writing any better. I’m just trying to sit down and let the process unfold, without pushing too hard.
The camcorder-style of your new music video “Wendy” is nostalgic and visually enticing. Who came up with the concept for the video and can you discuss the idea behind it?
This was a brilliant idea from the very talented director Cat Rider. She pitched the idea to me and I was immediately on board. I think it might be the first music video I’ve ever done that wasn’t my own concept, which I found to be extremely liberating, as I just trusted her and her vision.
What made you choose “Wendy” as the lead single for your upcoming album, Imposter?
I like that it’s not necessarily the obvious choice. There are more accessible tunes, stronger hooks probably. I realize it sounds pretentious as hell, but I’m more interested in following the inspiration. This is what I wanted to do right now.
What different themes and influences might the album have?
No matter what angle I might come in to write from, I’m inevitably still chipping off corners from the same block. So I guess this falls into the ‘your guess is as good as mine’ category. Again, I’m really just trying not to overanalyze my methods as it seems like a surefire way to screw it up.
Are there any collaborations or special guests on Imposter?
I called on a couple friends here and there to help with certain sounds. My friend Claire Watkins appears on ‘We’ll Get It Right’ performing violin and backing vocals. My co-producer Ashley Shepherd plays bass on “Long Long Night’, and added some guitars on ”Lonely Soldier“. I think that may be it, unless I’m forgetting someone right in this moment and I’m a massive jerk.
What has been your favorite/the most rewarding part of making this album?
The moment I come up with something new, and my brain is tickled in some new way, that is my favorite part of writing and producing. I think this album has been the most satisfying on a creative level because I’ve learned what turns me on. I think it is idiosyncratic in a way that rewards repeated listening.
If there is one thing you want your listeners to know about this new era for Bad Veins, what might it be?
Good question. These days, I’m flat out of concern for perception. Caution has been thrown to the wind and has since disappeared.
What inspires you to do what you do?
Part of me wants to say that I make like I breathe, it’s a part of being, a natural default state. But ultimately I suppose there is joy involved. I write because without writing, I’m a little more on the miserable side. I don’t walk around feeling like I’m the greatest writer in town, but I do feel good about doing it anyway., proud and still a little apologetic for existing.
What are your hopes and aspirations – whether musically or otherwise – for 2024?
For better or worse, I have the ability to not think about the future. I often need to be reminded that it’s coming.